EU Year of Skills Launched by Minister Harris with Skillnet Ireland

The EU Year of Skills, which will run from May 2023 to May 2024, is a pivotal commitment from the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, and signals the importance of skills and talent development throughout member states.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris announced the launch of the EU Year of Skills in Ireland, with Paul Healy, Chief Executive, Skillnet Ireland.

The European Year of Skills 2023 will give a fresh impetus to lifelong learning and upskilling, empowering people and companies right across our economy to contribute to the green and digital transitions, supporting innovation and competitiveness across Ireland and the European Union.

Minister Harris said, “I am very pleased to mark Ireland’s launch of the EU Year of Skills today with Skillnet Ireland, which is promising to be a very exciting time to acknowledge Irish talent and to shine a light on the importance of Ireland’s highly skilled workforce to our economy and society.  Skillnet Ireland has achieved a strong track record since it was established in 1999, and continues to spearhead the provision of skills, talent, and workforce development through partnership with industry, other government agencies and our education and training ecosystem. I look forward to celebrating lifelong learning and the provision of innovative upskilling supports to assist businesses and our workforce to contribute to the green and digital transitions.”

Paul Healy, Chief Executive, Skillnet Ireland said, “Given the rise of new technologies and the growing importance of green-skilled jobs, now is a great time for the EU to choose Skills as the theme for its ‘European Year’. It is designed to put fresh impetus on upskilling and lifelong learning and to encourage companies, in particular small and medium firms to invest in the training of their teams. Skillnet Ireland works with industry sectors and companies to ensure they have a pipeline of in-demand skills so that they can compete and thrive. We are pleased to be joined at today’s launch by the new Cultural & Creative Industries Skillnet, together with our Minister Simon Harris, to mark the beginning of the Year of Skills”.

The latest addition to Skillnet Ireland’s business supports is the newly formed Cultural & Creative Industries Skillnet which was created to support the growth of Ireland’s animation, visual effects, games, film, TV, documentary, post-production, immersive technologies, AR/VR, virtual production, digital media, entertainment events, music, theatre, and visual arts sectors, through the provision of bespoke training and professional networking events.

Gareth Lee, Network Manager, Cultural & Creative Industries Skillnet, said; “We are pleased to launch the new Cultural & Creative Industries Skillnet and look forward to contributing to the EU Year of Skills. The arts, culture, media, and creative sectors are critically important to Ireland both in terms of economic value and social and cultural value in representing Ireland’s reputation globally. This year alone saw 14 Oscar nominations for Ireland’s screen sector, a significant milestone. The cultural and creative sector faces challenges and opportunities related to skills and talent development, especially in areas like digital transformation, sustainability, and leadership. The new Skillnet network will help the sector to address these challenges and capitalise on future opportunities.”

Over the course of the EU Year of Skills, Skillnet Ireland will provide upskilling and talent development supports to over 20,000 businesses of all sizes across the economy, providing a pipeline of highly skilled talent for future business needs. The European Commission and the OECD have identified the Skillnet Ireland model as a best practice public-private cooperation example for workforce development and a means of incentivising SME investment in skills.

Article originally appeared on the Skillnet Ireland website. Click here to read.

Article Published: 11/05/2023